Tag Archives: Oxen

Farm Life in Cuba

I have been waiting for a rainy day to work on more posts. Needless to say, it’s been dry here in Georgia! Not a good thing for the farming life or for more posts from our March trip.

Sustainable Farming

Last summer, someone asked us whether our farm was ‘sustainable.’ I wasn’t quite sure how to answer–sustainable monetarily? sustainable as far as producing what we need for day-to-day living? sustainable as far as environmental practices? sustainable concerning animal welfare? …so many ways to interpret that question!

The answer to any of those questions in Cuba is “yes!” The farms that we observed were small. Outside of the city, almost all homes had small gardens. All seemed to have a menagerie of animals¬†about the property; oxen were common, but cows were not.

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Cuban Transportation

Without any doubt, the most frequent question that we’ve gotten since returning from our trip to Cuba is, “Did you see many old cars?” We saw old cars–lots of them!

In the U.S., we think of transportation as a general right, with the expectation that transportation is easily available. That did not appear to be the case in Cuba. Transportation there included walking, horseback, horse and buggy, oxen and buggy, people movers (transport trucks, sort of), motor cycles, and anything else that could get a person from one place to another. In this post, I am going to include LOTS of pictures of the old cars, but will also include pictures of the other forms of transportation that we saw.


There were lots of 1940’s and 1950’s era American cars, but we also saw some old Soviet-built cars. There were also some modern cars, mostly Toyotas. We were told that most of the old American cars have Russian engines and tires made in China. There was no such thing as emissions standards or fuel efficiency! Most of the old cars have been brightly repainted numerous times; car owners take pride in their cars. License plate numbers begin with letters that indicate the vehicle’s use: B = bus or business, P = private, T = taxi or tourism, D = diplomat, etc. Here are just a few of the many old cars that we saw…


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